“Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of the night.”
— William Blake
How well you sleep has everything to do with how good you look. But what you do before you hit the hay all adds up, too. We spoke to you about resetting your body clock and sleep schedule on our previous post. Experts recommend cultivating sleep hygiene—a combination of bedroom environment and night-time routines that promote restful sleep.
The good news is, sleep hygiene is not cast in stone and can be tailored to suit your individual needs and personality.
The better news is, there are some rituals you can use as a starting point on your road to developing sleep hygiene, so you’re not left floundering in the dark.
The best news is, some of these rituals are great for your skin, even if you’re not looking to better your sleep practices!
We’ve put together seven super-soothing bedtime rituals that will help you get your best sleep and that super glow.
Ritual 1 – Take off the day
Whether you’re wearing makeup or not, an important bedtime ritual is to cleanse your face and body. As you go through your day, dust, grime and pollution (and, of course, the makeup) clog your pores. Just as the rest of your body needs fresh air and oxygen to work well, so does your skin. You want it to breathe while you sleep, so it repairs itself and you wake up refreshed.
Besides, leaving your mascara on as you sleep, can cause your lashes to break! At least twice a week, use a gentle exfoliating scrub for that squeaky-clean feeling. And of course, a shower is always a great idea! A warm shower is soothing, relaxes your muscles, clears out toxins as well as your sinuses and skin pores, and has also been known to alleviate anxiety, inflammation, and migraines.
A cold shower, on the other hand, gives your immunity, circulation, and metabolism a boost helps lower your body temperature so you sleep better, and tightens your skin pores, thereby reducing puffiness and redness. The improved circulation gives you a healthy glow and stops hair fall. So hot or cold, take your pick. And even if you don’t, do cleanse your face!
Ritual 2 – Show your feet some love
Soaking your feet in warm, saline water helps relax tired feet. According to ancient Oriental energy sciences, the combination of salt and water is said to rid you of negativity, leaving you re-energized and full of positivity. According to modern medicine, saline water is an effective cleanser.
While it’s not possible to soak your feet more than twice a week, do give them a quick massage once you get into bed. Three to five minutes is good enough, although the longer, the better. Your feet have borne your burden all day—literally! They could do with some relaxation. Besides, you’ll only wake up with softer, more moisturized feet, allowing you to stretch the time between your pedis.
According to Ayurveda, when you give yourself a ‘padabhayanga’, or foot massage, you’re not just massaging your feet but all your internal organs—pressure points on your feet are connected to your organs through energy channels called ‘nadis’. When you gently massage these points, you are stimulating your various body processes into healing. Experts are agreed that a gentle foot massage not only helps soothe your tired feet, but also helps relieve stress and anxiety, improves circulation and digestion, and gives you better sleep.
Ritual 3 – Apply saya night revival facial oil
Once you’re done cleaning and scrubbing, hydrate your skin with our saya facial oil. Formulated with Indian Night Jasmine, known for its calming, restoring properties, as its base, saya facial oil can actually help you get deep, restorative sleep. saya is also infused with sandalwood and lemon peel, which are soothing and help your skin rejuvenate as you sleep. A great addition to your bedtime routine.
Ritual 4 – Drink a cup of calm
Ditch that evening cup of caffeine or that glass of cocktail—unless you have company, of course! Instead, reach for a calming infusion. Chamomile, hibiscus, and licorice, all help to relax the nervous system, when brewed in hot water and had before bed, making for a sound night’s sleep.
Chamomile is also great for stressed-out skin that’s prone to breakouts, while hibiscus is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanocides, which are anti-inflammatory and have astringent properties, reducing the appearance of large pores and giving you smoother-looking skin. Hibiscus also regulates the production of elastase, the enzyme responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, giving you more supple skin.
If you’re looking to switch it up, try the Golden Glow Latte, which promotes healthier sleep and skin before during bedtime, and while you sleep.
Ritual 5 – Cut out the bright lights
Bright lights hinder the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. Besides, the light from your gadgets stimulates the brain, while the blue light further brings down melatonin levels in your body. Your gadget screens are also known to emit UV rays that can damage your skin.
It can take your brain anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes to wind down and get back into sleep mode. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 100% of us use our gadgets in the hour leading up to bedtime. It’s time to break that chain and do better by our bodies! The next bedtime ritual is that once you’re in your bedroom, put away the devices and turn down the lights, so your body gets the signal that it’s time for bed now.
Ritual 6 – Stretch
A good stretch is like a gentle, sleep-inducing massage. Keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it regular. Stretching lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our body, in turn boosting melatonin levels. It also helps relieve tension in the body, while lower body stretching, specifically, helps get rid of negative emotions, making for a more restful, restorative sleep.
Ritual 7 – Find your nirvana
This is a great ritual you can experiment with. Think about what helps you wind down. Sleep music? White noise? A book? Deep breathing? Find whatever helps you switch off from the outside world and relax before you finally hit the hay. Set aside at least 30 minutes for it. And remember to practice gratitude, in whichever way you like to, but mindfully. Mindfulness rituals help you sleep deeper and calmer, giving you that glow that isn’t just skin deep!
Find that natural glamour inside out!
Inner radiance is the road to elegance!